It’s My Annual Poetry Show

It’s My Annual Poetry Show with my friend and guest Jayne Jaudon Ferrer. Here are some of the poems we shared on the show. All used here with the author’s permission.

To hear this weeks poetry show, please go to my website and click the link that says Blog, and you can listen to the podcast for this show. Just click on the start button and the show will play.

Here are a few of my favorite poems.

A Thanksgiving Poem
 CJ Beaman
‘Twas the night of Thanksgiving, I just couldn’t
 Sleep. I tried counting backwards, 
I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned, the dark meat and white,
 But I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
 And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes, 
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
‘til all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
 With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees…
Happy eating to all…pass the cranberries, please.
May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump,
 May your potatoes ‘n gravy have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,
 May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs.
Remember to share with those less fortunate,
 And may your thanksgiving be blessed.
This poem is in the public domain

Existence 101 by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
Here’s what I think:
God put us here to do more than take up space
and mow grass.
We are here to contribute something.
Teachers, doctors, scientists, artists–all shoo-ins.
Pro ballplayers, fashion designers–on shaky ground.
Most of us fall somewhere in between.
Yesterday, for example, I made my family’s favorite dessert, smiled at a solemn old man, and let three strangers go ahead of me in the turn lane.
Today, however, I fear I owe the universe a sizable debt
for the peace, love, and joy my black mood
sucked straight out of the ozone.
So be it.
We are not perfect, and there is no grade.
There is only opportunity.
Carpe carefully.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Thanksgiving on Glassy Mountain by Elizabeth Drewry
No one presides at this table. The mountain presides, 
indisputable granite. Millennia of uplift and erosion 
reduce our decades to a breath, a glimpse, 
a nod. No wonder we tell stories
 and inscribe epitaphs in igneous rock. 
We are far from the thin air of boardrooms, 
spectacle of careers like kiting hawks on thermals—
the dihedral glide, the plummet; a mouse scrabbling
 in brown leaves ascends, startled, above wild turkeys 
fat-breasted and gleaning for ripened seedheads,
 in the binocular focus of the bobcat. 
Along the winding road from Landrum we travel, 
sacks filled with the makings of a feast. Sun-silvered snow
melts on manes of horses bent to fescue, and on peach trees, 
low and squat, denuded but for brown-gray bark, 
upper branches lighter, like flesh of inner arms upturned. 
Shed of summer’s heavy beauty, they revel
in plain dignity and proportion, a shape-note choir. 
Behind our mountain chapel, tombstones erode over bones 
of children—Darling We Miss Thee for Claud, four days alive,
 Alice’s son. And for Martha, daughter of Ola and John.
 In neighboring blackgums, bees make honey, amber and peachy
 with notes of caramel—the sweetness of life, its undertone of longing deep and molten as magma.
Used with the author’s permission.

Sunday Dinner – by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
Thank you, God, for days like these—
when lifelong memories take root
in simple scenes.
There’s Grandmother in the rocking chair,
my sleepy toddler on her knee . . .
a quartet of dads stretched across the porch
trading sports tales and stock market stories . . .
cousins—size small, medium, and large—
bounding through the house
and across the lawn . . .
meanwhile, we women flit
from one room to the next,
bequeathing those things that are vital:
second helpings, sweet tea, attention,
and lots of hugs.
Let my child know many of these moments, Lord.
Let her delight in the joy of spontaneous laughter,
rejoice in the comfort of sorrows shared,
wallow in the knowledge that she is loved
just because it’s her birthright.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Don’t Quit
 John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
This poem is in the public domain

Gravy by Barbara Crooker
To make good gravy, you must be patient,
let the juice settle to the bottom, let the fat
float to the top in all its golden light. Skim
it with a thin spoon, take its measure. Equal
it with flour, sprinkle with salt, speckle
with pepper. Stir constantly in the roasting pan,
making figure eights with a wooden spoon.
Scrape off strips of skin, bits of meat; incorporate
them in the mixture, like a difficult uncle
or the lonely neighbor invited out of duty.
Keep stirring. Hand the wooden baton
to one of your daughters; it’s time for her
to start learning this music, the bubble and
seethe as it plays the score. One minute
at the boil, then almost like magic, it’s gravy,
a rich velvet brown. Thin it with broth,
stir in chopped giblets, then pour into
its little boat, waiting with mouth open.
Take up your forks, slide potatoes, stuffing,
gravy, into your mouth, hum under your breath.
Oh, the holy family of gravy, all those
little odd bits and pieces, the parts that could
be discarded, but aren’t; instead, transformed
into a warm brown blanket that makes
delicious every thing it covers.
Used with the author’s permission.

November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.
This poem is in the public domain